ATSILS welcomes a new ThroughCare Manager and Learning & Development Coordinator

ATSILS warmly welcomes our new ThroughCare Manager and Learning & Development Coordinator to the team. Helen and Aiden are pictured (seated) below embarking on their ATSILS induction journey.

Helen is our incoming ThroughCare Manager – and will lead a state-wide team focused on diverting clients (at high risk of re-offending) from the justice system. Helen is a descendant of the Ugurapul/Yuggera people of the Ipswich area. Helen is currently studying her Masters in Aboriginal Studies and brings a wealth of experience in working with young people.

Aiden joins us as the Learning & Development Co-ordinator. Aiden has recently completed his Masters of Organisational Psychology and has formerly worked at UQ and in local government.

A big thank you to the HR Team and legal staff in attendance for facilitating a great welcome!


Murri Christmas!

From all the team and directors at ATSILS, we wish you a very Murri Christmas and all the very best for the summer and the New Year.
To all the communities, families and partners we’ve had the pleasure of working with this year, we thank you for your continued support during another challenging year and look forward to working with you again in 2022 as we continue to advance and protect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland.
Please note our offices will be closed for a short time over the Christmas period (from 20 Dec 2021 – 3rd Jan 2022) however, we will still have a team of legal practitioners and client services staff rostered on call during this time to provide legal help.
If you need legal assistance during this time call our free-call number: 1800 012 255.
Also, a member of our team in each region will be available on-call 24/7 for any urgent criminal matters.
Once again Merry Christmas, stay safe, and stay deadly!

What is the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020?

A first of its kind, the Act recognises Torres Strait Islander lore in Western Law and establishes a process for the legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice.

‘Meriba Omasker’ and ‘Kaziw Kazipa’ is made up of language terms from Eastern island language and Top Western island languages of the Torres Strait and collectively is translated as ‘for our children’s children’.

Find out more by visiting the Office of the Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa) website:


View the legal information fact sheet developed by Legal Aid QLD, ATSILS QLD and QIFVLS:

Ailan Kastom child rearing practice in Torres Strait Islander families
How do I get Ailan Kastom recognised under the law? 

ATSILS (QLD) a joint winner at the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd was a joint winner last night in the “Partnership” category of the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards for our work with key partners in delivering the Northern Peninsula Area Licensing Muster Initiative.

We would like to extend our congratulations also to key partners involved in the initiative – Northern Peninsula Area Justice Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation (NPA Community Justice Group) and Queensland Police Service (Bamaga Station).
The award is a great credit to our team up in the Torres Strait and NPA regions and in particular Annabelle Craft (our Prevention, Intervention and CLE Officer)– whose professionalism and hard work was a key driver of the partnership initiative.
We’d also like to acknowledge C’Zarke Maza our Regional Manager in the NPA and Torres Strait regions, who first raised the challenge surrounding unlicensed driving charges in the regions with the executive – which was then taken up at the departmental level by Shane Duffy our CEO. Whilst with departmental support the wheels were put in motion, it would have been easy for the initiative to grind to a halt – but with Annabelle at the steering wheel, such was never going to happen.
The Northern Peninsula Area Licensing Muster Initiative is a justice reinvestment strategy that has been providing cross-agency, holistic, evidence-based, proactive, and culturally safe support to the five communities of the NPA around licensing, registration, and identity documents since 2019.
The initiative aims to reduce unnecessary contact that Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience with the criminal justice system related to driving and vehicle related offending. Such contact often leads to offenders being sent to correctional facilities located thousands of kilometres away from their community.
The initiative arose through prolonged observation of the high numbers of community members facing court action and punishment for non-violent driving-related offences, as well as social and economic exclusion. It appeared that many community members lacked sufficient or consistent primary identity documentation, immediately precluding them from accessing the services and opportunities many Australians take for granted.
Congratulations to Annabelle, the team and all partners involved. This initiative is a great example of the targeted impact justice reinvestment strategies can have on addressing the over-representation and unnecessary contact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience in the justice system.
To read more on the success of this program visit:

Team Maroochydore take part in the annual Law Week Walk

ATSILS MaroochydoreThe annual Law Week Walk was held on the 18th of May and the ATSILS Maroochydore team were out in force early at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast to take part.
The team enjoyed hitting the pavement to support a good cause alongside colleagues from the legal fraternity including His Honour Judge Long of the District Court and Nambour Magistrates Court Registrar (and sometimes Acting Magistrate) Andrew Walker.
Below is a picture of the team Steph, Luke, Rod, Tim, Donna, Phoebe and Jordy, and Jordy’s daughter Elsie who was clearly the youngest participant by at least a couple of decades!
A great effort by Team Maroochydore.

Our Ipswich office making sure their local community has a voice!

Out in our Ipswich office, Regional Manager Kevin Rose invites local elders & respected persons to speak to our Ipswich team at the end of every staff meeting.

Making sure the local community has a voice and staying in touch with grassroots people is vital to informing our cultural proficiency and ensuring our legal service delivery is responsive to local community needs.

Well done Kevin and all the team in Ipswich.



Facebook Page Restrictions

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) LTD – ATSILS (QLD) regrets informing our clients, communities, and partners that today our Facebook page has been restricted by Facebook as part of their decision to block publishers and users in Australia from viewing or sharing news articles. We are working to have the page reinstated and believe this is only a temporary measure. 

The snap decision by Facebook today aims to put pressure on the Federal Government over proposed new laws that would force tech companies to pay news companies for content. Unfortunately, their broad action has seen many organizations beyond news publishers inadvertently ‘caught in the net’ of restricted sites. This includes our National peak body (NATSILS), legal services in other states, a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media, health and community services, key domestic and family prevention campaigns, and more.

It is deeply concerning that during a global pandemic and at a time where our communities are facing unprecedented health, legal, and human rights issues, that we have been censored along with the many other affected organisations that share critical emergency, health and legal resources on Facebook’s platform.

Facebook is an important part of our communication and engagement strategy with communities and partner organisations and we hope to rectify the situation as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience and encourage everyone to visit our website, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for ATSILS updates in the interim.



For more information on this issue:

Indigenous media organisations reeling after Facebook bans sharing Australian news sites | NITV ( 







Licensing Muster Event – Bamaga (18th August 2020)

NPA Licensing Muster – (held in conjunction with the Licensing Mob)
Bamaga – (18th of August at 8am – 4pm)
Licence Muster events provide remote communities with access to a range of licensing, registration and ID services! Whether you need help with your registration & licence renewals, photo ID cards or you need a to sort out a SPER debt, there will be a deadly team of cross agency professionals there to help you!
The NPA Licensing Muster Initiative is a cross-agency collaborative initiative of the following:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS)
Queensland Police Service
NPA Community Justice Group
Licensing Mob (Department of Transport and Main Roads)
NPA Family and Community Services
View Event Flyer:
The NPA Licensing Muster Initiative is a cross-agency collaborative initiative of the following:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services QLD (ATSILS)
Queensland Police Service
NPA Community Justice Group
Licensing Mob (Department of Transport and Main Roads)
NPA Family and Community Services.

Thanks for all your support!

Black Lives Matter - Donate to ATILS

Following the recent events and widespread/global coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement, the organisation has been in receipt of many donations and messages of support for the work we do for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their families in Queensland.

For this we are very grateful and would like to sincerely thank each individual donor.

Your kind contribution will be utilised in  the following ways:

  • Care packages for clients in our Throughcare program which assists clients coming out of the criminal justice system to re-integrate into mainstream society – examples of items in a package include food items and clothing;
  • Community Legal education services – creating awareness  and education programs for our community across the state covering topical issues faced in each region and informing the community of their rights within the criminal justice system;
  • Public sector monitoring services – monitoring the progress of implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody as well as ongoing Deaths in custody matters;
  • Other day to day case costs and client support services provided by our offices across the state.

A full accounting for the utilisation of funds will be posted online at the end of the financial year 2020/2021.

Thank you again for your generous support.

Shane Duffy
Chief Executive Officer